<b>Poplars</b> are often used in bioremediation projects because of their root structure and capacity to absorb pollutants.

Poplars are often used in bioremediation projects because of their root structure and capacity to absorb pollutants.

Bioremediation

The natural approach to environmental clean-up.

Bioremediation is broadly defined as any process that uses microorganisms, fungi, green plants or their enzymes to return the natural environment altered by contaminants to its original condition. The term itself is a combination of two words, "bio," short for biological, and "remediation," which means to remedy. The type of bioremediation that uses plants to clean up the environment is specifically known as phytoremediation. Scientists are investigating the natural ability of plants to contain, degrade, or remove toxic chemicals and pollutants from soil or water. It can be used to clean up metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil, and contaminants that may leak from landfill sites (called leachates). Native plants have been found especially effective because of their extensive root systems. Phytoremediation plantings are often used in combination with other traditional technologies for cleaning up contaminated sites because of the phytoremediation's limitations.
Advantages of Phytoremediation
  • Environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Metals absorbed by the plants may be extracted from harvested plant biomass and then recycled. Phytoremediation can be used to clean up a large variety of contaminants.
  • May reduce the entry of contaminants into the environment by preventing their leakage into the groundwater systems.
There are different types of phytoremediation, categorized by the type of material they remediate – metals or organic chemicals. Each type takes advantage of a plant's natural ability to absorb, accumulate, or metabolize contaminants from the soil or other media in which it grows. Interactions between plants and microorganisms that live in the soil can also contribute to phytoremediation. As part of normal growth and development, plants absorb and metabolize certain organic chemicals and metals. Some metals are essential for plant growth, including zinc, copper, and iron. Some plants, classified as hyperaccumulators, absorb more metal than other plants, including metals that do not appear necessary for plant function. Please call us at 800-356-2401, e-mail us to discuss your project and which Forrest Keeling plants will work best for you. Download our commercial tree planting handout. Forrest Keeling Walk-A-Way™ System Link